South Korea’s National Pension Service sold 1.09 million shares in the nation’s leading hospitality and duty-free operator Hotel Shilla in the second quarter, a filing showed Sunday.
As of Wednesday, NPS was holding 9.73 percent voting rights in the hotel and resort unit of Samsung, down 2.74 percentage points from March 31, with 12.47 percent.
From April 1 to June 24, the pension fund sold Hotel Shilla’s shares 50 times out of 78 times of its stock trading. Despite the state agency’s massive dumping, shares of Hotel Shilla hit 85,200 won ($70.77) on April 29, but it had faltered to 68,700 won as of Friday’s closing bell.
Market watchers attributed the NPS’ recent stake offload to a slowdown of the global economy and the sluggish travel industry following the coronavirus pandemic. Hotel Shilla earlier reported its first quarterly operating loss since 2000.
The hospitality and duty-free operating firm is expected to mark another loss in the second quarter. Hotel Shilla’s business performance in the third quarter previously had an optimistic forecast, but it could extend a gloomy result, according to local market experts.
“The NPS’ heavy sell-off was due to Hotel Shilla’s gloomy outlook in the second quarter this year, following the first quarter. Above all, the global travel industry’s future seems very dim,” said Park Jong-dae, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment.
Meanwhile, US investment house BlackRock Fund Advisors also offloaded 1 percent stake in Hotel Shilla to secure a return on its investment, a filing showed on June 16. The asset management firm holds 4.04 percent stake in the firm.
By Jie Ye-eun (firstname.lastname@example.org